by Jeff Skinner
Check out Steve Elling’s profile of the enigmatic Ben Hogan. He covers nine defining moments in Hogan’s life.
“The following isn’t a ranking or any remote semblance of the most obvious episodes or issues Hogan faced in his life. After all, Hollywood covered many of those in the 1951 movie about the guy called Follow the Sun. But in the years that have passed since his death, more details about his life have been divulged, some of them downright fascinating.
What made him tick? Complicated question for an impossibly complicated man. If you think Tiger Woods has some crazy internal wiring, Hogan has had experts theorizing about his life and times for six decades.
To the Internet crowd, that’s ancient history, but it shouldn’t be forgotten. Here are nine defining Hogan moments –- both personally and professionally, for Hogan and his fans –- which is one for each major championship he won.
Forged in family fire
Decades passed before the details of Hogan’s shocking, pitiable childhood became fully known, and it was easy to understand why Ben almost never spoke of his father’s suicide, even to his closest friends. Hogan’s wife, Valerie, didn’t learn of the incident until well after they were married, from another family member, in fact. Hogan was 9 when his father, a blacksmith, shot himself with a .38 in the family home. Some have theorized Ben found the body, though that remains muddled. At any rate, as the youngest of three kids, and a boy who idolized his dad, the development surely shook Ben to the core. Indeed, some believe it shaped Hogan’s life in ways he could never understand, much less control.”